Opportunities and Challenges for Technology Development and Adoption in Public Libraries

Sofia Serholt, Eva Eriksson, Peter Dalsgaard, Raphaelle Bats, Alix Ducros

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In this paper, we discuss opportunities and challenges for technology development and adoption in public libraries. The results are based on a multi-site comparative study and thematic analysis of six months of extensive ethnographic work in libraries in three different European countries. The results explore the socio-technical practices, understandings, and perspectives of library staff and patrons when it comes to the role(s) and function(s) of libraries today. The contribution of this paper is two fold. Firstly, the results from the analysis of rich ethnographic data presented under six themes. Secondly, we offer a list of identified key opportunities and challenges focusing on 1) media and technology literacy, 2) institutional transformation and technical infrastructures, 3) resource constraints among library staff, and 4) a shift in focus towards supporting activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNordiCHI 2018 : Revisiting the Life Cycle - Proceedings of the 10th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
Number of pages11
Place of publicationUSA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6437-9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450364379
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Ethnography
  • Library
  • Multi-site
  • Participatory design
  • Public knowledge institutions
  • Technology adoption

Cite this